I slept poorly last night on account of passing out on the couch. I was on the road last weekend and came home to a fat knot under my eyeball due to a stye that, I guess, exploded and spread to other parts of my eyelid. Ive been avoiding my bed until I can wash the pillow cases, unsure if that will limit my exposure to whatever bacteria wound up in my face or if I’m just now spreading it around the house like bed bugs.
Even that minimal level of precaution makes me feel like some kind of hand-washing covid freak. Makes me feel like I can hear some heavyset mom in Warby Parker glasses, using a Trader Joe’s bag as a purse, taunting me as I get out the soap, “I told you so.”
I wish I wasn’t this susceptible to the culture war. I wish I didn’t just associate every decision I can make in my personal life with an argument I’m imagining on Twitter, but here I am – not washing my hands for Tucker, getting doo doo particles in my eye and weeping snot down my cheek to own the libs.
In fact, since the last year I’ve been toying with the idea of abandoning germ-theory as a whole. I’m not entirely convinced I didn’t just get an eye infection because I looked at another man’s body too long or in the wrong way, and God found out. He’s taking his eye back and giving it to someone that will use it the way it was intended – to make women at the airport feel uncomfortable and trapped. I feel that I often deserve the bad things that happen to me, maybe that includes illness? Maybe that’s just how it works, and we had to “come up” with germ theory because people would rather literally do anything other than take a look at themselves and consider that they’re the problem? Now, I know, that’s wildly ahistorical and it doesn’t explain things like children with cancer, but I still like the idea of a vindictive, petty, cruel God more than little bugs floating around eating you away from the inside. It feels like tough love. Also maybe those kids are are the real racists? Optimistically, at least those little Nazis finally got the haircut they’ve always wanted.
Naturally, I’ve just been googling hordeola for the last week, trying to figure out what I can do to get rid of this thing. Thank God for Google, it always has the answer even when science doesn’t.
I don’t go to the doctor on principle, so I paid out of pocket for a telemedicine appointment, and they told me the same thing Google did: I need to just keep a hot compress on it and wait it out. They wouldn’t prescribe an antibiotic, and I wondered why, because according to the cartoon villain version of doctors I hold in my head, they can’t wait to prescribe literally anything for any condition.
I guess they don’t prescribe antibiotics anymore unless it’s necessary because they’re concerned about “antibiotic resistance.” The more people use antibiotics, the more evolutionary pressure we put on bacteria to escape their scope of efficacy. So antibiotics are a limited resource.
That’s a crazy amount of pressure to put on doctors, having to triage antibiotic use like that. I can’t even imagine – every time they get that notepad out they really have to think about whether this is the right thing to do or not, you know? We’re not talking about prescribing a first grader legal methamphetamines because they were too loud during fingerpainting – these are antibiotics, a precious resource, humanity’s only defense against the hidden, little tiny secret bastards that just want to turn all of our holes into rotting ooze factories. And soon enough that levy will break.
Then where will we be? Where will these science-loving, Fauci-fawning resistors turn? Are they suited for the distinct possibility of technological regression? Or have they been so convinced by the progressive project that while large segments of society may become reactionary, our products will always have updates, believing that things get better even if people get worse. Surely, the doctors, the beloved doctors, will come up with a solution, surely.
And that’s the fallacy the liberals peddle – trusting the experts, thinking they’ll always have an answer. A pandemic? Oh, the experts will solve that. Bacterial antibiotic resistance? Yeah I mean, it’s a ticking time bomb, but the experts, they’ll figure it out in time, they always do.
Now, I guess you could say conservatives do the same thing, especially with climate change. You know the argument, that capitalism will solve it, etc. The markets will find some solution; but it’s not really the same. No one on the right thinks that the oil industry will fix climate change or that they even want to. They just deny that the problem exists. They don’t imagine these oil executives as technical wizards in lab coats. Not at all. They’re picturing long, hardbodied Texas businessmen in big hats and bolo ties. They’re salivating at the idea of a swashbuckling southern daddy taking us to the rodeo at the end of the world. The right cleaves to reckless masculinity. There’s something very cute about it – an angry little man in a bowtie staring lovingly at a Han Solo type who, without looking at the smaller man, white knuckles a steering wheel and says “this might be crazy enough to work.” And of course it never works and he crashes the spaceship and everyone dies; burning up in the sunset in the bosom of their man-god.
But I’d still prefer that repressed homoerotic fantastical denialism to the highly material, technocratic feminine authoritarianism of the bumper-sticker scientists. It’s not that liberals, the typical atheistic ones anyway, lack faith, it’s that their faith itself lacks spirit. There’s no color or vitality to it, there’s no nuance. For all their love of Fauci, of Cuomo, RGB, they don’t -actually- want to fuck any of these people, and you know it because they wear their sexual attraction like a poorly made seasonal garment. I don’t think Randy Rainbow is even gay, any more than Elmo is “four” or is “learning his ABCs.” There’s no libidinal attachment to any of these outward expressions of affection. It’s not rooted in anything. It’s flavorless, or the inverse, highly saccharine and artificial, like a Snackwell cookie. Their relationship to authority is that of a genderless child to a narcissistic mother, simply a neutered extension of them, simply operating as vessels of faith, repeating, echoing, reverberating, leaving nothing of themselves on these beliefs as they pass them on.
And I can’t accept that. I’m sorry but I’ve got too much heart and too much of a secret internal rainbow in my soul to simply go to the doctor and accept that science will give me an answer. Instead I will close my eye as toxic waste streams down my face and refuse to admit a problem even exists. Because that feels better to me, and also I think it’s funny.